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The full IUGG 2019 searchable scientific program is now online

U01 Achieving Sustainable Development: The Role for Earth Sciences


Convener: Keith Alverson (CCEC; Japan/USA)

Co-Conveners: Ian Allison (IACS, Australia), Harry Bryden (IAPSO, UK), Jianping Li (IAMAS, China), Dan Rosbjerg (IAHS, Denmark), Harald Schuh (IAG), Zhongliang Wu (IASPEI, China)

Invited Speakers: Tom Beer (Australia), Jillian Cambell (USA), Qin Dahe (China), Amy Luers (Canada), Murugesu Sivapalan (USA), Martin Visbeck (Germany), Zinta Zommers (Latvia)



Focus in the sustainable development community has coalesced around a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. These broad goals are extremely, indeed impossibly, ambitious. Goal one, for example, is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” with a deadline of 2030. They nonetheless provide a structure around which our aspirations as a global society can be placed. Although the goals are clearly interrelated each has its own targets to achieve, and a set of quantitative indicators against which to measure progress against those targets ( Many of these indicators are directly related to geosciences. Thus, geoscientists are well placed both to assist with fundamental understanding on the usefulness, or lack thereof, of these particular indicators, how we might intervene to make progress in attaining them, as well as how to accurately and efficiently monitor the results. Goal 6 on ‘water’ for example, has as one of its indicators (6.6) “Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time” begging some rather obvious questions such as which ecosystems are not “water-related”, whether their extent can be measured and distinguished from other areas, and if extent is a meaningful indicator of their overall wellbeing. Another target (13.1) is to “strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate related hazards and natural disasters in all countries” a topic that has been one of the core justifications of much geophysical research for over a century. This symposium will comprise a series of invited talks from Earth system scientists on how our science can help assess and achieve the sustainable development goals, with ample time for audience discussion. Additional presentations are invited for poster presentations.


U02 Georisk Reduction: Science, Resources, and Governmental Action

(jointly with the American Geophysical Union [AGU] and the U.S. National Committee for Geodesy and Geophysics [USNC/GG])


Convener: John L. LaBrecque (IAG, USA), Yekaterina Kontar (IUGG, USA)

Co-Convenors: Vyacheslav Gusiakov (IAPSO, Russia), Michael Krautblatter (IACS, Germany), Joan Marti (IAVCEI, Spain), Kuniyoshi Takeuchi (IAHS, Japan), Alan Thomson (IAGA, UK), Chun-Chieh Wu (IAMAS, China – Academy of Sciences in Taipei).


AGU’s co-conveners: Brooks Hanson (AGU Headquarters, USA), Ramesh Singh (India/USA), Linda Rowan (USA), Seth Stein (USA).

US-NCGG co-conveners: Stephen McNutt (IAVCEI, USA), Ester Sztein (NAS, USA)


Invited Speakers: Zuheir Altamimi (France), David Boteler (Canada), Mohsen Ghafory-Ashtiany (Iran), Alik Ismail-Zadeh (Germany/Russia), Toshio Koike (Japan), Shunichi Koshimura (Japan), Ning Lin (USA), Shuaib Lwasa (Uganda), Gordon McBean (Canada), Ruth Neilan (USA), James Norris (Switzerland), Roger Pulwarty (USA), Kenji Satake (Japan), Christa von Hillebrandt-Andrade (Puerto Rico), Zhongliang Wu (China).



The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) hereafter known as AGU-IUGG will celebrate the centennial epoch of their founding in 2018 and 2019. The AGU-IUGG agree to jointly sponsor two successive meetings in association with the AGU 2018 Fall Meeting in Washington, D.C., USA, 10-14 December 2018 (Meeting 1: Symposium on Disaster Science held on 9 December 2018) and the 27th IUGG General Assembly in Montreal, Canada, 8-18 July 2019 (Meeting 2: Symposium on Georisk Reduction: Science, Resources, and Governmental Action to be held on 14 July 2019). The AGU-IUGG expect that these meetings will create mechanisms for improved coordination between scientists, engineers, decision-makers disaster managers, and financiers to address the challenges of growing impacts of natural hazards upon society. The meetings will (i) address genesis of natural mega-hazard events and resultant disasters; (ii) focus upon models for implementation and the building of partnerships for science-based disaster prevention, mitigation and recovery and present exemplary case studies; (iii) bring together representatives of the scientific community, government agencies, policy experts, and commercial entities such as the insurance and banking sectors; (iv) focus upon the promotion of collaborations between new technologies for disaster early warning and improved forecast modelling; and (v) strive for the development of a holistic model for hazard and disaster mitigation.

U03 Mathematics of Planet Earth: The Science of Data


Convener: Ilya Zaliapin (CMG, USA)

Co-Conveners: Yehuda Ben-Zion (CMG, USA), Malcolm Sambridge (IASPEI, Australia), Gordon Swaters (IAPSO, Canada), Shin-Chan Han (IAG, Australia)

Invited Speakers: Felix Herrmann (Canada), Kenneth Golden (USA), Anya Reading (Australia), Simon Papalexiou (Canada), Michel Stein (USA), Jürgen Kusche (Germany, IAG)



This symposium will highlight the elemental role that mathematical and statistical ideas play in the geosciences and encourage further research answering fundamental questions about our planet and dynamic environment. The symposium will showcase how different elements of Earth System science – including observations, data analysis, mathematical, physical, and computer modeling – facilitate a predictive understanding the Earth’s surface, interior, oceans and atmosphere. A particular focus will be on the emergence of data science and the ways artificial intelligence and machine learning play in data-driven geophysical knowledge discovery. The symposium will contribute to the international program Mathematics of Planet Earth.


  • IUGG Gold Medal Lecture: W. Richard Peltier, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

    Wednesday July 17, 14:00-15:00

    Session U03: Mathematics of Planet Earth: The Science of Data

    Chair: Michael Sideris, IUGG President




    Approximately 25 years ago an extra-ordinary discovery was made by Willi Dansgaard of the Niels-Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and Hans Oeschger of the University of Bern. Based upon the analysis of oxygen isotopic data from the GRIP deep ice core that had been drilled to depth at Summit Greenland, it was demonstrated that North Atlantic climate variability during Marine Isotopic Stage 3 (MIS 3) was characterized by intense millennial timescale oscillations. These oscillations were later shown to follow the occurrence of Heinrich event instabilities of the eastern flank of the Laurentide ice sheet that had covered all of the northern part of the North American continent under Late Quaternary glacial conditions. Only recently has it proven possible to fully explain the millennial timescale D-O oscillation in which individual pulses of the variability have "relaxation oscillation form involving very fast timescale transitions from cold "stadial" conditions to warm "interstadial" conditions followed by a slow timescale return to the cold stadial state. In Peltier and Vettoretti (2014, GRL) it was demonstrated that this millennial timescale mode of climate variability that existed only under cold glacial conditions could be recovered in a modern coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice model run at high CMIP5 resolution. There it was shown that the D-O phenomenon appeared naturally as a nonlinear resonance of the climate system following a sharp Heinrich event-like diminution of the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). I will demonstrate that the success of this simulation of the millennial mode of glacial climate variability relies strongly upon the availability of accurate glacial boundary conditions determined on the basis of detailed analysis of the glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) process. Subject to these boundary conditions the coupled sea ice-ocean-atmosphere system responds in the manner I have described as involving the action of a "kicked" salt oscillator in the North Atlantic Ocean, one that does not rely upon the exchange of fresh water between grounded ice sheets on the continents and the oceans as has often been suggested to be at the heart of the D-O mechanism.


U04 Data-driven Science for Earth and Space Exploration


Convener: Satheesh Shenoi (IAPSO, India)

Co-conveners: Sonia Costa (Brazil), Ellen Clarke (UK), Michelle Guy (USA), Robert M. Key (USA), Silva Massaro (Italy), Yasuhiro Murayama (Japan), Bruce Raup (USA), Ashish Sharma (Australia)

Invited Speakers: Anna Kelbert (USA), Sara Galagher (Canada), Prof. Daniel Farinotti (Switzerland), Auroop R. Ganguly (USA), Prof. Cynthia Chandler (USA), Dr. Steve Diggs (USA), Prof. Geoffrey S. Boulton (UK), Dr. Fanny Brun (France)



Henry Stommel, a groundbreaking theoretician and an astute seagoing oceanographer, stated that "…the data gathered from the ocean is the very lifeblood of our science…”. Data gathering is in fact critical for Earth and Space Science. Few research fields can claim a longer history of problem solving requiring voluminous data than Earth and Space science. During this symposium the opportunities provided by large data collections to explore the frontiers of Earth and Space science will be examined. Another goal of the symposium is to dwell on the support needed at global, national, and regional levels for effective and efficient management and exchange of such data through certified open access repositories, promoting the idea that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. Big Data techniques have been applied to seemingly intractable problems with spectacular success. Processing complete satellite archives for trends in oceanographic parameters or global glacier velocities are examples. It is important to expand the application of those concepts in Earth and Space research. Perhaps, a distributed data management system using advanced analytic tools that takes advantage of the underlying commonality would be appropriate. An infrastructure that facilitates flexible collaboration would provide an environmental interface that encourages the uses of data across sub-disciplines. Given the inherent inertia, each component must bring unique advantages over the ‘old ways’ of conducting Earth and Space science research. The challenges are to enable the processing of multi-disciplinary heterogeneous datasets, to improve their interoperability and integration in Big Data projects and therefore enhance the capability in deriving holistic information on Earth and Space System. Expected outcomes of the symposium include (i) building awareness of the importance and advantages of sharing data among a wide group of audiences and user groups, (ii) capacity building and technology transfer for the management and analysis of data, (iii) securing the commitment of key partners and stakeholders to the aims and sustainability of the Big Data programmes, and (iv) influencing the specific policies for the management of Earth and Space data.

U05 New Discoveries in Earth'S Deep Interior


Convener: Jonathan Aurnou (SEDI, USA)

Co-Conveners: Mike Bergman (IAVCEI, USA), Carla Braitenberg (IAG, Italy), George Helffrich (IASPEI, Japan), Christine Thomas (IASPEI, Germany)

Invited Speakers: Magali Billen (USA), Sanne Cotaar (UK), Jennifer Jackson (USA), Roland Pail (Germany), Binod Sreenivasan (India), Quentin Williams (USA)



New insights on the Earth's deep interior require a multidisciplinary approach. Thus, this symposium seeks contributions covering from core to mantle, including observations, material properties, structure and dynamics. In the mantle, composition, rheology, density, electric and magnetic properties are required to define the dynamical evolutionary path through space-time. The recent satellite missions GRACE, GOCE and SWARM, and novel teleseismic methods give new insights into deep Earth physical properties and state. Models of mantle convection and the interaction with lithospheric plates and subducted relics use these data as input to define the models in greater detail. Geodetic and seismic data provide inputs necessary for constraining possible stable layers in the outer core, with high resolution models of the geomagnetic field required to make further progress in our understanding of core dynamics and dynamo generation. Seismology and mineral physics continue to work in tandem to further our understanding of inner core structure and dynamics. We also welcome studies concerning global-scale coupling, including the dynamical interaction between the inner, outer core, the mantle and earth rotation.

U06 Recent Advances and Discoveries in Planetary Science and Comparative Planetology


Convener: Athena Coustenis (UCPS, France)

Co-Conveners: Isabelle Ansorge (IAPSO, South Africa), Shuanggen Jin (IAG, China), Sanjay Limaye (IAMAS, USA), Mioara Mandea (IAGA, France), Scott Rafkin (IAMAS, USA), Stephanie Werner (IASPEI, Norway)

Invited Speakers: Sushil Atreya (USA), Scott Bolton (USA), Aymeric Spiga (France), Richard Ghail (UK), Gabriel Tobie (France), Cathy Olkin (USA)



Spacecraft and telescopic observations continue to expand the boundaries of our knowledge of our Solar System and other extrasolar systems. With each discovery and advance, the place our own planet holds in our solar system but also the formation and evolution of planetary systems in general and of our Solar System in particular, is refined. The goal of this Symposium is to bring forward the most recent findings in planetary sciences that reveal new perceptions of each object in the solar system (terrestrial and giant planets, small bodies, satellites, magnetospheres, our Sun, etc) and offer a comparative planetology perspective. By examining recent results from space missions and ground-based observations, laboratory and modeling studies, we will look at main discoveries on interior structure and geodynamic evolution of solar system planets, small bodies and exoplanets; the variety and comparison of processes controlling the evolution of surfaces and atmospheres of planets and small bodies; the dynamics, composition and chemistry of worlds with surface and subsurface oceans; and the diversity of potential astrobiological environments. The broadest range of topics within planetary science are encouraged, contributions that reflect the theme of comparative planetology and astrobiological aspects are especially welcome. Studies that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of planetary science and the connection with the IUGG main themes pertaining to the Earth’s system are also of particular interest.


U07 Centennial of International Cooperation in Earth and Space Sciences


Conveners: Claude Boucher (WGH, France), Alik Ismail-Zadeh (IUGG, Germany/Russia)

Co-Conveners: Ed Cliver (IAGA, USA), Hermann Drewes (IAG, Germany), John Gould (IAPSO, UK), Grant Heiken (IAVCEI, USA), Pierre Hubert (IAHS, France), Rainer Kind (IASPEI, Germany), Hans Volkert (IAMAS, Germany)

Invited Speakers: Ian Allison (Australia), Jószef Ádám (Hungary), Ray Cas (Australia), JoAnn Joselyn (USA), Michael MacCracken (USA), Eduard Petrovsky (Czech Republic), Dan Rosbjerg (Denmark), Johannes Schweitzer (Norway), Denise Smythe-Wright (UK)



The IUGG was established at the inaugural General Assembly of the International Research Council on 28 July 1919 in Brussels, Belgium. This symposium will mark the 100th anniversary of the inception of the Union, highlighting the achievements of the IUGG and its Associations for the centennial period, especially in promotion of international research cooperation for the betterment of human society and advancement of the geosciences. The symposium theme will cover all stages of the development of the Union from its early years (1922), its maturation period (1922-39), and its continued development (after the Second World War) including major political and scientific changes. The symposium will focus on major activities, such as general assemblies, scientific programs, products, services, publications, and the contributions of influential individuals representing different nations, choosing to work together to advance the Earth and Space sciences.

U08 Earth and Space Observations


Convener: Richard Gross (IAG-GGOS; USA)

Co-conveners: Steve Ackerman (IAMAS, USA), Andy Hooper (IAVCEI, UK), Chris Hopkinson (IAHS, Canada), Matt King (IACS, Australia), Mioara Mandea (IAGA, France), Mahdi Motagh (IASPEI, Germany), Sarah Purkey (IAPSO, USA)

Invited Speakers: Juliette Lambin (France), Markus Rothacher (Switzerland), Stefano Salvi (Italy), Andrew Shepherd (UK), Steve Volz (USA), Susan Wijffels (USA)



Earth and space observations provide the data needed to gain greater scientific understanding of the Earth and its interacting systems. But Earth and space observations also have great societal impact, being used to inform decisions about climate change, aiding in disaster risk reduction, and helping to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Climate Observing System, the Global Ocean Observing System, and the Global Geodetic Observing System are striving to provide the observations needed to inform decisions in these and other areas. And the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) are working to provide Earth observations to decision makers so they can make informed decisions about these complex issues. This Symposium will be a forum for discussing the use of Earth and space observations to address climate, cryospheric and sea level change, natural hazards, and space weather.



U09 Celebrating Early Career Scientists


Convener: Kathryn Whaler (IUGG Vice President, UK)



This symposium is dedicated to honor the 2019 Early Career Scientist Awardees and excellent Early Career Researcher speakers, who will present their innovative research and exciting results.

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IUGG 2019 Conference Secretariat JPdL International

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